Paso Robles, CA’s Firestone Walker Brewing Co. debuted their latest anniversary beer, XV, on October 12th. To kick off the brew, an eight course pairing held at the Avalon’s Bardot Room in Hollywood was conceived by “Homebrew Chef” Sean Z. Paxton with the theme of deconstruction. The intent was to take the eight beers that comprise Matt Brynildson’s blend, XV, and pair them with foods to bring out their intricacies. Ultimately, the goal was to better understand and appreciate the anniversary beer that will be available for purchase at their brewery on November 5, and to Firestone Walker vendors shortly after. We were on the scene with chef Sean Z. Paxton and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s brewmaster, Matt Brynildson, to chat about Deconstructed LA.
Thanks to President Jimmy Carter homebrewing was made legal in the U.S. in 1979 (but in 2011 it’s illegal in only Alabama and Mississippi). The American Homebrewers Association was formed by Charlie Papazian in 1978. As of 2009, there are over 750,000 homebrewers, 300 homebrew competitions and over 800 homebrew clubs in the U.S. We attended the 33rd Annual AHA National Homebrewers Conference in San Diego last weekend — here is what we learned about these passionate hobbyists.